carmelized-banana-completeI love these bananas.  I’m not even a fan of a raw banana – but oh…a sprinkling of sugar, a blow torch – and voila – magic banana.  These are great in addition to most any dessert.  Really and truly.  I absolutely love them in an ice cream sundae.  My favorite.  The crisp topping is like a creme brulee – but underneath, a banana.  Yum!  These are a great snack when you’re craving something sweet – especially for the kids (well, me too).  The hard sugary shell entices them (us) and while we are at it – eat a whole healthy potassium filled banana!  (OK, yes, with some added sugar.)  Actually these might be good cut into hot oatmeal for breakfast – just thought of that now.  Hmmm…tomorrow.  These are relatively easy to make if you have a blow torch – but sadly most people don’t?  Blowtorches are easy to find at your local hardware store – you don’t need anything fancy – but if you want a fancy one – especially styled for pastry, then by all means purchase.  And don’t be scared – I know it sounds intimidating.  The blow torch comes in very handy for caramelizing fruits, meringues and creme brulee.  Unfortunately, unlike creme brulee – broiling these in the oven is really not quite as good.  The banana “cooks” a bit and gets very mushy – but I guess  it’s worth a shot if there is no other option.  (OH, just got a note from Robert a friend and neighbor who says he cooks bananas in a nonstick pan over high heat with balsamic vinegar and some sugar.  Yes, a pan friend banana may be the alternative way to go if you’re not daring enough for the blowtorch!)

caramelized bananas:
firm, just ripe, bananas

Slice each banana lengthwise.  Place on foil or a foil-lined roasting dish or sheet pan.  For each banana, sprinkle about a teaspoon of  sugar (you can use more or less depending on the size of the banana and your personal taste) onto the cut side of the banana – and go to blowtorch town.  Take your time…hold the blowtorch about 3-5 inches away and slowly move the flame around the banana.  Keep the blowtorch moving all over and over and over again until the sugar caramelizes and turns a lovely shade of nutty brown.  Delish.

Follow directions above (but I would try a less ripe banana) – then place in oven – and broil.  This will probably take under a minute so watch it carefully.  I tried at home – but pretty unhappy with my results – but practice and see if maybe you can do better…I will try again – just hard to waste my bananas when my blowtorch is so close by!


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